Rafael dos Anjos has elected to leave the lightweight division, where at one point he was the reigning king, but that doesn’t mean he’s abandoned his championship aspirations at 170.
Following RDA’s decision loss to Tony Ferguson in November, which followed his stoppage loss to Eddie Alvarez in July, the former 155 champ announced he’s moving to welterweight. Up next, dos Anjos will battle Tarec Saffiedin at UFC FN 111, June 17th in Singapore.
Recently dos Anjos spoke with MMA Fighting about his upcoming bout, and his decision to move to 170, and the Brazilian said this:
“I believe that a win would put me in the top 10,” dos Anjos said. “When you fight the champion and win, you become the champion. If you beat the No. 10 (ranked fighter), you become the No. 10. I think (the win) puts me in this mix, and that’s my goal.”
“No rush, but my goal is the welterweight belt,” he continued. “I think I have what it takes to get there. But I’ll do at welterweight what I did at lightweight, no rush. I’ll slowly get there. I have the qualities to get there. But a win over Tarec Saffiedine will definitely put me in this mix.”
It will be interesting to see what unfolds in that fight. If RDA wins, he very well could face a top ten ranked welterweight after that, as Saffiedine’s currently ranked #11. The former Strikeforce champ is coming off consecutive losses to Rick Story and Dong Hyun Kim.
RDA also argued that he fights well against larger opponents, and he also posited that he’ll be stronger at 170, so he’s not concerned about being overpowered. We’ll see how this all plays out.